ROSS TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A water main break in Ross Township created a mess Thursday morning.
The 16-inch water main ruptured in the morning along Babcock Boulevard, not far from the recently renovated The Block at Northway shopping plaza along McKnight Road.
The huge wave of water it released tore out grass and damaged paving and landscaping at two homes.
Crews began work around 10:30 a.m. to repair the ancient pipe. It meant traffic on busy Babcock Boulevard was down to just two lanes for much of the day.
For homeowners with damaged property, it meant assessing the damage.
“My wife was yelling, ‘Come here, come here!’ I ran over, she was in the kitchen. We had a river,” said neighbor Ron Fichter.
But Fichter considers himself lucky. That’s because his neighbor’s home sits right underneath the broken main. That neighbor’s driveway and yard are pretty much gone.
West View Water crews were doing their best to clean up the nasty mess.
“My front yard had about six inches. He had to have two feet in his. He got the worst of it,” said Fichter of his neighbor’s property.
Amazingly, neither home had much damage inside. But for Fichter, the new patio and new landscaping he just put in, is just about wiped out.
“The whole back was landscaped and grass was planted. That’s all gone. So, it’s mainly the whole back yard’s gonna need repaired,” Fichter said.
As in many calamities like this one, it could’ve been worse.
“Nobody got hurt. Hopefully, everything gets fixed up. It’s bad. It’s a shame,” Fichter added.
When you hear politicians talk about the aging infrastructure, this is it. That water main was built in the 1950s. But believe it or not, there are many water pipes in our region that are much older.
The road is now fully reopened. Meanwhile, water service was not interrupted.
West View Water had their insurance adjuster out at the scene assessing the damage.